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Mushroom Model Publications

Mosquito Mk. XVIII “Tse-tse”
An Operational History

by Alex Crawford


S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number: SHIPBUSTER Mosquito Mk. XVIII “Tse-tse” An Operational History
Mushroom Model Publications White Series 9104
ISBN: 978 8389450 45 6
Media: 72 glossy A4 sized pages plus a soft cover, 46 B&W war-time photos, 24 full colour shots, 5 line drawings from the manual, 15 colourful profiles of some of the aircraft and their targets and a set of 1/72nd scale plans.
Price: GBP£12.99 available online from Mushroom Model Publications
distributed in the USA by MMD
Review Type: First Read
Advantages: Development and history of both the gun and the aircraft, excellent colour profiles and a very readable text.
Disadvantages: Type VII U-boat illustration with red underwater surfaces
Conclusion: A very good book of a very rare but interesting aircraft.


Reviewed by Glen Porter

Mushroom's Tse-Tse book is available online from Squadron


F i r s t  R e a d


First, we had the “Dambusters”, book and movie. Then came “Ghostbusters”, the Hollywood movie, “Mythbusters”, a TV show loved by some, hated by others. Now we have “Shipbusters”, a new book from Mushroom Model Publications on the development and operational history of the D.H. Mosquito Mk. XVIII “Tse-tse”, an FBVI fitted with a 6 pdr Molins gun under the nose replaceing the cannon armament.

The Molins gun was a development of the 6 pdr anti-tank gun as fitted to some British tanks. An automatic version was built for the Army but before development could be finished the Army lost interest. The Royal Navy picked up the idea and used it on Motor Gun Boats and MTBs but theirs was only semi-automatic, ie, the gunner had to press the trigger for every shot. The RAF then took the baton and ran with it while looking for a replacement for the Anti-tank Hurricanes by fitting the gun into the nose of a Mosquito. So was born the Mk. XVIII “Tse-tse”. Although not used against armour, it was found quite effective against ships and submarines and was used in that way until replaced by rocket armed aircraft.

After a brief introduction, the first chapter describes the development of the Molins Gun from single shot tank gun to fully automatic, aircraft mounted anti-ship weapon. This is accompanied by several diagrams and a set of very clear full colour “Walkaround” type photos.

The second chapter covers the development of the aircraft with the gun mounted, ground trials, air firing trials and into service. Next is Area of Operations followed by a month by month description of operations from November 1943 to January 1945 when they were moved to North Coates to combat a growing midget submarine menace against allied ships supplying the invasion forces during April and May 1945. The last chapter is about the last “Tse-tse” then in existence. It was sent to the USA in April 1945 to evaluate large calibre weapons fitted to aircraft that also included a B-25H and after the trials had concluded, it passed through several civilian hands until a landing accident did considerable damage. After the engines were rescued, the rest was given to the local Airport Fire Department for training. A sad end to the last of a unique aircraft.

Throughout this book, there are many full colour profiles of the aircraft at various stages of their short life including a top and bottom plan view showing the D-Day stripes they carried. There are also several profiles of targets such as ships, U-boats and aircraft that brings me to the only criticism I can offer.

On page 29, there is a profile of a Type VIIc U-boat. It shows red anti-fowling paint below the water-line. Now I was led to believe long ago that this did not exist. Pre-war perhaps, but during the conflict they were all a very dark grey. Oddly, on page 33 the artist got it right with another U-boat correctly coloured.



C o n c l u s i o n


Apart from the old Airfix Mosquito in 1/72nd scale, I don't know of any “Tse-tse” option in any other kits but there are several in resin in various scales, but even if you don't want to build one, this book is worth having in your library.

All Mushroom Model Publications books are available direct from the publishers, who now accept credit cards (Visa, MC, Amex, Switch)  

North American distributors are MMD, Australian distributors are Platypus Publications. In Europe, the books are available from any good bookshop (via our UK distributors, Orca). Contact MMP direct in case of difficulties. 

Thanks to Roger at Mushroom Model Magazine  for the sample.

Review Copyright 2008 by Glen Porter
This Page Created on 20 August, 2008
Last updated 20 August, 2008

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